Prosecutors announce narwhal tusk smuggling pleas

The investigation of a smuggling ring that trafficked in narwhal tusks began with the discovery of contraband by Alaska investigators.

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by Associated Press

ANCHORAGE- The investigation of a smuggling ring that trafficked in narwhal tusks began with the discovery of contraband by Alaska investigators.

Jay Conrad and Eddie Dunn, both of Tennessee, pleaded guilty to trading in illegal animal parts, including 19 narwhal tusks taken to Alaska.
Federal prosecutors announced the pleas last week.
The narwhal is a protected whale species. Sales of tusk to Americans have been illegal since 1972.
Conrad and Dunn admitted to buying narwhal tusks from Canadians, starting in about 2003.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki says U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents based in Alaska discovered narwhal tusk smuggling while investigating another wildlife parts seller in the Lower 48.
Dunn faces sentencing in March. No date has been set for Conrad.